Friday, May 22, 2015

LIVE: Attack on the Iron Coast (1967)

                First cigarette – 10 seconds (a record?)  /  Maj. Wilson (Lloyd Bridges) will be seeking redemption for a Dieppe type fiasco  /  the redemption will take the form of Operation Mad Dog which will target the port of Le Claire (rhymes with St. Nazaire)  /  the suicidal plan is to ram the dock with an explosives-laden ship – “It’s just mad enough to work!”  /  the Wilson family scenes are creepy as Wilson is tightly wound  /  Royal Navy is uncooperative  /  in training Wilson is a hard ass and the live firing exercise results in the wounding of the Royal Navy liaison – 8 men are killed in training!  /  the wounded liaison vouches for the operation and it is saved, but the new liaison Capt. Franklin (Andrew Keir) lost his son in the Dieppe-like raid and hated Wilson (command clash anyone?)  /  an air attack using models in a bathtub and Scyfy Channel special effects proves only an explosives-laden ship can accomplish the objective  /  fighter planes dropping bombs they don’t have  /  Wilson and Franklin really, really hate each other  /  in the German headquarters in Le Claire they are watching a porno!  What was evil then is commonplace today  /  the mission is launched and complications ensue – surprise!  The RAF will not be able to do the diversionary attack  /  Franklin disobeys orders and refuses to scrub – he’s on board now (get it?)  /  it is misting, but none of them are wet;  the camera bobs, but the cast doesn’t  /  the explosion is on a timer and Wilson has thrown away the key – there’s no turning back now  /  Wilson:  “Let’s start the minstrel show.”  /  boats are launched to land the commandoes  /  lots of running around and shooting from the hip  /  bloodless deaths  /  the ship is hit and aflame – no one seems to be worried about all that TNT  /  the ship rams the dock and there is more running around and hip shooting (everyone has a Sten)  /  the wire has been cut and Wilson is wounded;  Franklin returns to the ship but he is captured and taken to headquarters – this allows Franklin to say in your face to the Nazi commander when the pyrotechnics occur  /  Wilson reattaches the wire just as he is killed  /  huge explosion!  /  the commandoes break into the headquarters and rescue Franklin  /  England lives on music

ANALYSIS -  “Attack on the Iron Coast” is an Anglo-American production.  It is low budget and has a no name cast other than Bridges.  It is a B movie and very cheesy.  The score is average (some of it was “borrowed” from “The Dam Busters”) and so is the acting.  Bridges chews a lot of scenery.  The whole mission is even more implausible than the Raid on St. Nazaire.  Significantly, the movie had no technical adviser.  The movie hammers the theme that the mission is suicidal and that is true because there is no way in Hell the mission would have succeeded.

Grade =  D


  1. Its an enjoyable action war film. Always on the TV here in the UK and usually a good choice for the Saturday/Sunday afternoon war film slot on Channel 5. The budget for this film was £1m, one of the several Anglo-American productions by the Mirisch-Oakmont companies. All had the same budget and had to have a major US name, with the rest of the cast being British and European.

    As said, its a perfectly decent war actioner.

  2. St Nazaire may have been incredibly high risk, but it worked.


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